45 Oldest Living Musicians

Paul Simon

Born in 1941, Paul Simon is best known for being the primary songwriting force of the folk-pop group, Simon & Garfunkel before embarking on an equally successful solo career. Some of Paul’s most influential songs include The Sound of Silence and 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. 

Paul Simon

Art Garfunkel

If we’re going to mention Paul Simon, it would only be fair to mention his partner in crime, Art Garfunkel, who was also born in 1941. Art is famous for his exquisite skill at singing harmonies, and while he did attempt a solo career, is mostly known for his catalog of work in Simon & Garfunkel. 

Petula Clark

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones weren’t the only British acts to find international success across the pond in 1964. Petula Clark etched her name into the tree of music history that year with the song, Downtown.

Petula’s most recent performance took place in 2023 at the age of 91, marking a career spanning 84 years. 

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson has been a constant enigma in country music as well as film and television since 1970. He’s famous for writing hits like Me and Bobby McGee, while playing roles in Convoy, and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. 

Kristofferson celebrated his 87th birthday in 2023.

John Mayall

If you’re a fan of Eric Clapton and have taken the time to explore the lineage of his career, you know that he played with John Mayall on the iconic Blues Breakers album in 1966. Interestingly enough, Peter Green, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood would split off from Mayall’s lineup during this period to form the beginning of Fleetwood Mac.

Needless to say, we can thank John Mayall (born in 1933) for fostering musicians who would create some of the best music of the 20th century.

Johnny Pate

If you’ve ever heard the Jay-Z song, Show Me What You Got, you’ve heard Johnny Pate’s music, perhaps without even knowing it. Known for playing the bass guitar as well as composing and arranging music, Johhny Pate became a centennial in 2023. 

Pate is known for his work on the Shaft in Africa film, as well as his arrangements on Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly album. 

Willie Nelson

We’ve all known that Willie Nelson was getting up there in years, but few know that he celebrated his 90th birthday in 2023. His guitar, Trigger, is looking a little worse for wear but is still upholding its duties as his instrument of choice.

Willie is known for his legacy as a songwriter and country musician with an insanely prolific catalog of songs including On the Road Again, and, Crazy (the one sung by Patsy Cline), among many others. 

Willie Nelson

Paul McCartney

Along with Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney (born in 1942) is one of the last surviving members of The Beatles. Thanks to his songwriting partnership with John Lennon, he may just be one of the most influential bass players of all time considering how the partnership’s songs throughout the years changed pop music forever.

Let’s not also forget that McCartney had perhaps the most successful solo career out of all the other Beatles members. When listening to the chord changes throughout his solo work, your ears will immediately recognize the fact that it’s McCartney who brought that signature Beatles sound out of the band. 

Engelbert Humperdinck

With perhaps one of the most ridiculous names in show business, lounge singer, Engelbert Humperdinck (born in 1936) has found success in almost every decade of his professional career spanning more than 55 years. Some of his notable works include the 1979 song, This Moment in Time, while having his recording of Lesbian Seagull featured in the film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. 

Doc Severinsen

If you’ve seen The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, you’ve probably seen Doc Severinsen leading the band. Under Severinsen’s direction, The Tonight Show would become one of the most iconic talk show bands in late-night television history, setting the foundational example that modern groups (such as Paul Shaffer’s band on the Late Show with David Letterman) would follow. 

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